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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
San Francisco in San Francisco City and County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

The PPIE Experience

Something For Everyone

 
 
The PPIE Experience Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 8, 2014
1. The PPIE Experience Marker
Inscription. "The coloring is so soft and wonderful. Blues and reds and greens and yellows and browns and grays are all blended into one perfect whole… It is fairyland."
Laura Ingalls Wilder, West from Home.

The Palace of Fine Arts is the only remainder of the most opulent world's fair ever held in the United States. Standing at this building in 1915 and looking east, you would have beheld a shining city at the edge of the San Francisco Bay. This spectacle of innovation and entertainment was the Panama-Pacific International Exposition.

The PPIE promised the theme of "human progress through human endeavor," and delivered it in spades. Fairgoers were treated to displays of technology from 31 countries, with plenty of "firsts" to boast about. The first transcontinental phone call connected Alexander Graham Bell in New York to his assistant in San Francisco, and General Electric pioneered the use of indirect, colored lighting to transform the atmosphere of the fair at night.

Eight thematic exhibition palaces, enormous courtyards, numerous foreign pavilions, and state buildings brought the best the world had to offer to San Francisco's doorstep. The PPIE's 288-day run was truly a festival of multiculturalism.

Visitors to the Joy Zone could ride through a scale model of Arizona's Grand Canyon,
Marker detail: The exposition’s beautiful color palette image. Click for full size.
Collection of Donna Ewald Huggins
2. Marker detail: The exposition’s beautiful color palette
The exposition’s beautiful color palette, created by Jules Guerin, can be seen in the view from the Court of Palms towards the Palace of Horticulture, designed by Bakewell and Brown.
board the Aeroscope for a panoramic view of the fair, or marvel at Captain Sigsbee the Educated Horse. There were livestock and athletic exhibitions, airplane stunts, and automobile races. With fifty miles of avenues and aisles, the PPIE was so large that it was impossible to see it all before the fair closed.

(photo captions – all photos from Collection of Donna Ewald Huggins )
• Ford Motor Company built an automobile assembly plant inside the Palace of Transportation. A new vehicle was produced every 10 minutes, and the entire inventory was sold out before the end of the fair.
• The exposition’s beautiful color palette, created by Jules Guerin, can be seen in the view from the Court of Palms towards the Palace of Horticulture, designed by Bakewell and Brown.
• The ukulele made its debut in the continental U.S. via the Hawaiian Pavilion, kicking off a nation-wide craze.
• Marin County's Arequipa Sanatorium received a gold medal for its display of beautiful pottery in the Palace of Education and Social Economy. At Arequipa, Dr. Philip King Brown combined art, medicine, and economic independence as part of his treatment program for female tuberculosis patients.
• Spotlights on the Tower of jewels, designed by Thomas Hastings, made colored Novagems sparkle, while offshore the Scintillator's aerial light show provided an exhilarating
The PPIE Experience Marker (<i>wide view</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 8, 2014
3. The PPIE Experience Marker (wide view)
nighttime spectacle.
 
Erected by The Bothin Foundation.
 
Location. 37° 48.196′ N, 122° 26.93′ W. Marker is in San Francisco, California, in San Francisco City and County. Marker can be reached from Lyon Street near Palace Drive when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is located along the Palace of Fine Arts walkway, about 1/10 mile south of the Lyons Street parking lot. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3601 Lyon Street, San Francisco CA 94123, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Save the Palace (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Bernard Maybeck (1862-1957) (about 600 feet away); The Palace Lagoon (about 600 feet away); Lincoln Beachey (approx. ¼ mile away); Homeland of the Yelamu (approx. 0.3 miles away); First Women in the Army: U.S. Army Nurse Corps (approx. 0.3 miles away); Presidio of San Francisco (approx. 0.4 miles away); Marina Air Field (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Francisco.
 
Categories. ArchitectureMan-Made FeaturesParks & Recreational Areas
 
The Palace of Fine Arts Rotunda (<i>view from near marker</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 8, 2014
4. The Palace of Fine Arts Rotunda (view from near marker)
The Palace of Fine Arts Rotunda Ceiling image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 8, 2014
5. The Palace of Fine Arts Rotunda Ceiling
The Palace of Fine Arts (<i>lagoon & colonnade</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 8, 2014
6. The Palace of Fine Arts (lagoon & colonnade)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 16, 2019. This page originally submitted on March 15, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 124 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on March 16, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.
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